Department

Geochemistry

Geochemistry deals with the distribution of chemical substances on earth (and in the broader sense in space) and tries to examine and understand the cause of this distribution.

Numerous flasks and graduated cylinders with red and blue caps.
Flasks and graduated cylinders.
© Geological Survey of Austria / Lois Lammerhuber

In order to find the underlying principles, all sorts of geological and hydrogeological samples are analysed with the state-of-the-art analyse techniques, chemically characterised and interpreted. These within the range of geochemical fundamental research obtained results find application in geology and help to verify and understand geological processes on earth.

Furthermore geochemical results are an important part of environmental sciences. With its help geogenic caused pollution of soils and water can be determined and therefore the impact of anthropogenic interference can be estimated. Also regarding the question of how a certain substance behaves in various geological mediums, geochemical surveys are used, especially for investigations of material flows. An important field in geochemistry is hydrochemistry, which examines the chemical interaction between rock, air and water. From these hydrogeochemical insights possible impacts from natural and anthropogenic interventions on water resources can be predicted and thereby future-oriented protected.

The results of geochemistry lead to knowledge of the genesis of the distribution of chemical substances on earth, whereby new deposits of required resources can be pointed out which further on made accessible for mining.